Headteacher’s Weekly Bulletin
Issue 8 - Friday, 24th May 2013
Dear Parents / Guardians
It's now 6.06am and I'm on the 5.56 from Warrington Bank Quay station to London for a meeting later this morning. It may, to some, seem a treat to be out of school for the day but one always suffers from that teacher's guilt over those left behind to "hold the fort". What's more, the train journey is always a good chance to reflect but, unfortunately (having compiled a "to do" list), I've been hit with the sudden realisation of how much I need to get done over half term. It's that time of year when the current academic year clashes with the next as review and planning coincide. And that's just school stuff, I've not yet been given my list of domestic chores by Mrs Beeley!
We had our termly Full Governors' meeting last night and as always it was extremely positive and productive (if a little late finishing in light of my early start this morning). I am fortunate to have such knowledgeable and supportive "employers" who quite rightly demand a lot of the staff and I but who have the best interests of our students very much at heart. The vast majority of governors either have or have had a child / children at Wellington, and it was truly uplifting last night to hear them recount tales of what their offspring have gone on to do thanks to the start given them by the School. It reminds me, if I needed reminding, why we are in this wonderful profession. You couldn't get more enthusiastic advocates of the School and they will help to ensure our success for many years to come.
On Monday, we had our annual visit from the Customer Service Excellence (formerly Charter Mark) assessor. I am delighted to say that, having interviewed a whole host of students, staff, parents, governors and Heads of feeder primary schools, she confirmed our "excellence". Not only were we compliant in all areas but we were awarded "compliance plus" in 5 areas; staff commitment, charity fundraising, the condition of the school site, exam results and the work of the Pastoral Managers. Well done to one and all. This is an achievement we should celebrate and be proud of. Huge thanks to Mr Shaw for undertaking the not inconsiderable task of preparing all the paperwork and planning the day.
It's been another successful week of recruitment. We have appointed a new "second" in the Geography department and two additions to the English department. It's reassuring, as I have said before, that Wellington continues to prove popular, attracting no shortage of quality applicants. As essential as it may be, the recruitment process takes me out of circulation and this was the case on Monday and Tuesday. As it turns out, apparently I'm not indispensable and the School seems to have survived without me.
On Monday evening, we had our monthly department meetings. In addition to the standard items such as Teaching & Learning, pupil progress and review of the School / Department Improvement Plan, I asked colleagues to discuss possible additional awards for our Awards Evening on 2nd July. It is likely that we shall be diversifying this year and presenting a "junior" and "senior" award for two stand-out students in each subject area in addition to the usual awards. Mrs Copeland and I have met numerous times to discuss the evening; plans are practically finalised and our musicians / choristers are rehearsing hard. We have a much larger group of Year 7s now, but new chorister additions are always welcome. Following half term, the auditions will start for the ‘Talent Show’ on 11th July – please remind your son / daughter to use half term to prepare and get any backing tracks to Mrs Johnson on return after half term. It’s always a fabulous evening’s entertainment.
Mr Travis announces that we have now set up the Y10 Ambassador's scheme and have a Senior Ambassador Team of students consisting of 12 students. Their key responsibilities will include assisting on Open Morning as tour guides, working with primary school pupils on their ‘taster’ days and also assisting at parents’ evenings and School events.
I have mentioned previously our Sports Dinner on 20th June at Bowdon Rugby Club. I am delighted with the response as there are around 200 (excluding staff) wishing to come. By the way, for those attending, don't get too carried away at the prospect of "dinner" - it will be something simple. It is more about the celebration of school sport than haute cuisine.
That's a cue for this week's sport report. Late last Friday evening I added the result of the Year 9 league football final to the bulletin. For those who didn't read it, the boys annihilated Sale Grammar 1-0, with a second half winner from Elliot Bent. This is the first time I've watched the Year 9 team play this season and I was mightily impressed with the quality of football on display. I've always encouraged teams I've coached to be vocal on the field (communication is vital and often off-putting for the opposition), and so I enjoyed listening to Sam Owens barking out instructions at the back. Well done to Mr Morgan and all the boys - they've got a bright footballing future ahead. I believe Sam Corbishley and Will Callaghan represent the Trafford under 14 team coached by Mr Manifould's son. Let me know how you went on last Saturday.
Unfortunately, the Year 10 team lost for the second time in consecutive weeks to a very capable Sale Grammar side. This time it was 1-3 in the cup final. All involved will be bitterly disappointed but reaching two finals in one season is a fantastic achievement that shouldn't be underestimated. Anyway, we can always blame Mr Pinkerton. Apologies for not being there to support this week but it was one of those rare occasions when being a father had to take priority over being a Headteacher - my son's 11th birthday.
Tonight it's the turn of Mr Tomlinson's Year 11 team in the cup final against North Cestrian. Mr T tells me they are the only Wellington side to have reached a final in all 5 years. I'm sure those boys who intend to leave school this year will want to go out with a bang, so all the very best. Unfortunately, I won't be there to cheer them on.
Cricket got underway this week with Year 7 winning their first ever match (against St Anthony's). Unfortunately, the joint Year 8/9 team lost a nail-biter by a run or two to BTH on Wednesday evening. Thanks for the staff and boys who gave up their time to represent the School. I am confident of better weather and further success after half term.
Due to the constraints of exams there have been fewer trips of late but Mrs Williams and Miss Warburton took a group of Year 10 linguists to Manchester Met University for a "Film and Culture" event on Tuesday. Mrs Williams tells me that students had the opportunity to ‘taste’ Arabic & Mandarin, look at university and future career options using languages and also benefitted from a talk by a sports journalist who works at Manchester United. They were a pleasure to be with and represented the School immaculately.
Mrs Taylor-Crooke is running extra revision sessions for Years 11 and 12 over the holiday and Year 13 are coming in for an extra mock exam - this really does illustrate just how keen and motivated the students are, even coming in on a Sunday morning! Miss Seaston and the Year 7 drama club are busy rehearsing every Friday night after school until 4.30pm for their performance of ‘The Demon Headmaster’ for New Pupil Day in July as well as performing at Open Morning.
Glancing at the week's bulletin on my notice board yesterday it occurred to me that I have thus far failed to mention the School Bank. This is a great initiative that Mrs Mackay, assisted by a team of 6th formers, has run for three years now in conjunction with the NatWest, and it continues to go from strength to strength. This financial awareness and responsibility, I believe, is an essential part of our young people's education. I may have to approach one of our students for a loan before too long!
On the theme of money, half term for me, like many parents, means temporary bankruptcy as they are bled of every last penny by their demanding offspring. My children tell me it's an investment in the future. Have a great week off and I hope you remain financially solvent. I think I'll stay in work to avoid any unnecessary expense. It'll give me the chance to start ticking things off that jobs list I mentioned earlier.
To AS and GCSE students, keep up the good work, and for those A Level candidates set to begin their exams after the holiday, I wish you all the very best in the "final push".
S P Beeley
Welcome to Wellington School
...and thank you for taking the time to view our website. I would like to begin by saying what an absolute honour it is to assume the Headship of our Outstanding School, and I look forward to the challenge of maintaining the exceptional standards set by my predecessor, Mrs Armstrong, and moving Wellington forward in the future.
Wellington School is an 11 – 18 Outstanding Academy with Humanities Specialism. Our motto is ‘Excellence in Everything’ and that is our aim in everything we do. To achieve this, high standards are expected of all our students and staff. All of our work is anchored in the values of mutual respect, responsibility, discipline, care for the individual and high achievement.
We are proud of our school and the achievements of our students, and our success is reflected in our popularity. High levels of student attendance and above average academic achievement – both local and nationally – are a clear sign of the value students and parents place on the experience of being part of Wellington School.
We hope you enjoy our website and find it both informative and useful.
Stuart Beeley, Headteacher
I am pleased to publish the results and my thoughts on the latest Kirkland Rowell Parent Survey - please see the new tab at the top of the page ' Parent Survey 2013'.